Tag Archives: blognotes

Daley tripe

Iain Dale continues his decline to cheap partisan gossip broker – to think the man once had Parliamentary pretensions.

His latest broadside on the Lib Dems to backfire spectacularly is his decision to attack Lib Dem News for publishing a pro-Hamas letter, conveniently ignoring the fact that the same page included 2 pro-Israel and 2 relatively balanced letters. His defence is that he didn’t read the original source, which is essentially the same thing as saying he couldn’t be arsed to check his sources.

He also claims that “I don’t actually see LibDem News each week as I gather only LibDem members can subscribe”. Dale remember is a bookseller. In his old Westminster bookshop (the one that was “forced” to shut down due to the Congestion Charge only to mysteriously reopen six months later under a different name, and remains open to this day), I regularly remember seeing copies of LDN for sale. He thus knows that it is available to anyone to subscribe to – indeed until relatively recently you could order it from your newsagent. To plead ignorance on a matter that it is business to know, stretches credibility.

He also reads – and occasionally comments – on this blog. That being the case he will be aware of my own outspoken criticisms of Chris Davies. Specifically, he should be aware of the letter I wrote Lib Dem News some weeks ago. They didn’t publish it, but as I said at the time I didn’t mind because they published several that made similar points.

What annoys me most about all this is that Dale thinks it is appropriate to make cheap points like this on an issue as serious as the current situation in the Middle East, and yet seeks to claim the moral highground each and every time. It is tawdry, nasty little politics and should be singled out as such.

Both Dale and Guido get phenomenally high hitcounts for their websites and are keen to go on about how important this makes them. If the limit of your ambition is to spread political gossip then that is indeed a real achievement. But aiming to become the blogosphere’s answer to Marina Snyde is a little, well, hollow isn’t it?

At least Guido is aware of what he is and doesn’t have pretensions to be something more. Dale is right on one thing though: Paul Corney is a berk.

Iain Dale’s Lord Levy moment

I do worry that certain bloggers are getting too big for their boots. I’d draw an analogy here with one of my past obsessions: Robot Wars.

I used to love the show for the simple reason that it involved lumps of metal sawing the crap out of each other. Another entertaining feature was seeing the geeks who built the things being interviewed by the rather lovely Philippa Forrester (before she lost all credibility over the Brass Eye paedo debacle). Socially awkward at the best of times, they were all so clearly terrified of her it made truly entertaining telly.

The problem was though that after a few series, the programme started to hit the mainstream. Robots would be invited to open Village Fetes, become the talk of water cooler conversations, have affairs with Z-list celebrities and have embarrassing photos of them climbing out of cars with their undercarriages exposed published in Heat magazine, that sort of thing.

Meanwhile their designers started to believe that they themselves were minor celebrities. They started wearing team uniforms, developing team songs. Worst of all, they all started to think that Phillippa actually liked them. The sight of a sweaty, fat bearded man with no social skills attempt to flirt with an attractive woman 15 years his junior was truly awful to watch.

My question is, is the same thing happening with bloggers? Guido has been bouncing around the blogosphere recently expounding the Power of the Blog. And the lest we forget the supreme pretentiousness of the Euston Manifesto.

As for Iain Dale, he’s been roasted a bit on his blog today for writing a very silly post claiming that former Labour David Hinchcliffe’s decision to take up a non-executive directorship of South West Yorkshire Mental Health Trust is an example of New Labour sleaze. His defence seems to be that the press release announcing his appointment claims it wasn’t a political appointment but rather Hinchcliffe was appointed on merit (which on my reading it would appear that he was) and that, um, anyone criticising him is “employed to post on the blog by the Labour Party”. Including me.

Yes indeed. Iain is such a threat to New Labour that they employ people to discredit him, and his proof is that people post on his blog to tell him when he’s being a bit of a berk. He might as well just write a post entitled “DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?!?” and be done with it.

Hubris. It’s a beautiful thing, isn’t it?

Tom Watson and BUTT SEX

Comment spam is getting to be increasingly bizarre, with these two gems among the latest dross I’m having to delete:

Tim suggests that what’s special about Tom Watson’s blog is that he’s the first politician to use a blog to tell us what he really thinks instead of just telling us what’s in his diary.

It’s hard to know these things, because NO ONE TALKS ABOUT BUTT SEX. Ever.

Perhaps Tom Watson ought to talk more about butt sex. It’s just an idea.


Okay Will and Jonathan, I’ll bite (on the basis that, unlike most memes, this one doesn’t involve me having an opinion about stuff):

Three events:

  • 1415 – The army of Henry V of England defeats the French at the Battle of Agincourt.
  • 1944 – Heinrich Himmler orders a crackdown on the Edelweiss Pirates, a loosely organized youth culture in Nazi Germany that had assisted army deserters and others to hide from the Third Reich (no, I hadn’t head of them before either).
  • 2006 – The Brandon Show, a weekly college survival televion show, declares “National Zombie Day” across college campuses. College students play Zombies vs. Humans as they count down the days until Halloween.

Two births:

  • 1881 – Pablo Picasso, Spanish painter and sculptor (d. 1973)
  • 1959 – Nancy Cartwright, American voice actress (i.e. Bart Simpson)

One death:

  • 2004 – John Peel, British disc jockey (b. 1939)

UPDATE: As Peter requests below, the date is of course 25 October.

Leah Darbyshire: a loser writes

No Leah, I didn’t find this funny. Feel free to call me a loser, but your latest obsession with Vivienne Raper is quite irrational.

You state that:

We Darbyshires are not nasty. We’re always lovely to people we like. But if you hurt us, as many in the Party have done, then you can expect to be told about it and to be given a taste of your own medicine.

Yet while Vivienne has done nothing to you, you have yet to “name and shame” “all those men who came on to me, asked me out, texted me, flirted with me and letched over me in the Lib Dems and all those who made inappropriate comments or touched me inappropriately when I was both single and married.” Go on, spill the beans.

And if the couple of sarcastic comments of Vivienne’s has warranted such an onslaught, what on Earth did Julia Goldsworthy do? Why is it you consistently make women your targets rather than all those wicked men?

In a bizarre twist of fate, it would appear that another “Leia Derbyshire” has now taken offence. My advice to LeAH is simple: go to yahoogroups, register, and keep all your friends and family updated on your “fabulous” life that way. Nasty, horrible people like me won’t bother you any more.